The Prologue (posted during last week of May 2014)
The day was 1st of November 2011 (1/11/11). There is an entry in my diary recording the idea of a long bike trip. There are no entries after that date and in fact none prior to that date either – I don’t keep a diary! Looking back, I must have felt so strong about this idea to have written it down. Since then, this idea grew with the help of several books and blogs; the number of inspirational stories is truly unlimited and easy to find in this digital age, thanks to World Wide Web, although one must look in the right places. My quest to be free from the mundane and pursue an adventurous path is finally coming true. I am leaving London, UK to Anchorage in Alaska, on the 1st of June 2014 where I will begin my bike ride.
I have been preparing for this trip in one way or other for the last two years mainly saving up money. During this period I changed my career to be a teacher and thoroughly enjoyed it, but that was not sufficient to stop or delay my travel. The desire for adventure and ‘to be free’ is hard to put in words, but I believe the action says it. I enjoyed teaching and I will miss it. However, I have some ideas from other teachers, who have done this kind of trips, as to how I can engage with schools during my trip.
The closer I get to the start date both my excitement and anxiety goes up exponentially. I am neither good in camping nor good in bike maintenance – the two essential skills for a bike tour. So, I am a bit nervous/anxious when I start thinking about; finding camping sites, bears in Alaska, bike maintenance, mugging/theft, weather and so on. I have to remind myself that this is all part of the adventure, if everything can be predicted, it would be boring rather. Let me meet the unexpected.
From London, I am only taking my road bike, rest of the stuff I will need to buy, it’s gonna be fun shopping in Anchorage! Although, I have been buying some camping and cycling gear through internet which I will pick them up at the REI store in Anchorage. I will post the details of my gear another time.
Perhaps the greatest joy is in planning this trip, the last few weeks have been amazing, although quite busy; organising travel insurance, packing up, selling all my stuff from printer to pressure cooker, saying good bye to friends and family from India, South Africa, Europe.
I think I am now ready for the take-off…